History 11

Fall 2015
Day & Time: 
MWF 10-11A
This course presents an overview of the history of the Indian subcontinent (today’s India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh) over the last 4,500 years. We will concentrate on a number of topics, including the region’s economic and political structures, religious communities and traditions, gender and social hierarchies, links with other parts of the world, and developments in literature, art, and everyday life. As we examine all of these histories, we will also spend some time thinking about how we know what we know, and why people have thought differently about the past.
We will begin in the cities of the Indus Valley Civilization, then move on to examine early states, the formation of great religious traditions, and the subcontinent’s links with southeast Asia. In the medieval period, we will look at a wide range of interactions with people from central and western Asia and at the growth of new religious and regional communities. The early modern period saw the rise of the Mughal empire, which left behind countless remnants, many of which persist today. We will look carefully at India’s colonization beginning in the eighteenth century and, finally, discuss colonial India’s transformation—perhaps incomplete!—into independent countries with intertwined destinies.

Course Books

Ardhakathanak (A Half Story) by Banarasidas (trans. Chowdhury, Rohini) Penguin . ISBN: 9780143100546 Required
Kanthapura by Rao, Raja New Directions. ISBN: 978-0811201681 Required
A Concise History of Modern India by Metcalf, Barbara D., and Metcalf, Thomas R. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 978-1107672185 Required
India: Brief History of a Civilization by Trautmann, Thomas R. Oxford University Press. ISBN: 978-0190202491 Required